Lots of black-dressed people visited Podium in Hardenberg on the eleventh October 2003 for the Gothic Rock Night. Headliner was AFTER FOREVER, for the upcoming shows also supported by NEMESEA and this night for the last time by AUTUMN, who have been support-act for After Forever for about two years.
The first show was by NEMESEA, a band originating from Groningen (Netherlands) and who only did a few gigs before this one. Nevertheless a very solid performance indeed, with music written by Hendrik Jan de Jong (guitar) and Manda Ophuis (lead-vocal), obviously in the vein of their ‘hero’s’ After Forever and especially Nightwish (one of the songs performed was ‘Bless the child’!). No grunts and very melodic, so I guess Nemesea belongs to the mellow side of Gothic Rock. I look forward to their first album that should be released in the spring of 2004. The good looking Manda has got a nice and sweet voice, clearly influenced by Tarja Turunen (Nightwish).
A little more aggressiveness in the show Autumn gave. Female vocalist Nienke de Jong is definitely not a soprano and her voice gives a slightly Celtic touch to Autumn’s music but because of the not well balanced sound couldn’t quite compete with Meindert Sterk’s grunts. Well appreciated by the audience was the hilarious intrusion of some members of After Forever halfway the performance: suddenly there was a witch running around and Luuk van Gerven posed as a tree in ‘autumn’.
Last but surely not least: After Forever, good show, incredibly good singing by soprano Floor Jansen, and both the setlist (Monolith Of Doubt, Tortuous Threnody, Estranged, The Key, Glorifying Means, Inimical, Yield To Temptation, Pledge I, Forlorn Hope, Follow In The Cry and Emphasis) as the new tracks played from “Exordium” (Beneath, My Choice and the Iron Maiden cover The Evil That Men Do) make it clear that AF is going in a somewhat heavier direction: more up tempo, more aggressive riffs and fewer orchestral arrangements.
In conclusion: we have lots of talents in Nemesea, Autumn will be entering the studio for the recording of their second album but due to technical problems the audience couldn’t hear Nienke vocals as good as it should and After Forever is one of Holland’s leading gothic rock bands and in Floor Jansen they have an extraordinary talented vocalist.